My evaluative statement will look back at three of my online journal entries that I believe have increased my knowledge and ability to understand web 2.0 tools in the information environment.
Examples of Web 2.0 working for libraries & info agencies
The reasons why libraries should be using social networking tools becomes evident when I compared three libraries that enhanced library service provision and resources using these tools.
By using social networks, libraries have a lot to gain when engaged in conversations with their users. For example libraries can give their users an awareness of resources they have previously been unable to provide and help minimise a belief that the library is of little relevance in a world of easy access to information (Schrier, 2011).
The social networking tools used in the three library services chosen in the journal activity use the tools in effective, original and experimental ways such as the UTS Library’s Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and Instagram accounts to promote resources, services and events and how they use it to create community and its use of QR codes for library instruction. The State Library of New South Wales also takes advantage of the tools and its role as the state’s primary research library by promoting itself and its resources with blogs, Instagram, Pinterest and history pin.
Libraries that are already taking advantage of social networking have reported the benefits of increased user participation, interaction and engagement that has led to increased return visits and utilisation of resources and better relations with users (Choi, 2012, p. 4, para. 5).
Social networking allows libraries to respond immediately to negative and positive feedback, and to constantly review its services and resources. The communication it provides allow the library to learn about its users’ needs (Burkhardt, 2009).
Libraries should be taking advantage of the tools available to market themselves and to connect with users to better serve their needs.
Identity, privacy, security and trust
A number of issues raised in this OLJ activity made me aware of how to deal with an online identity. Libraries and library professionals using and developing social networking tools for either themselves or the library need to take into account how their online identity can appear to users.
Understanding privacy issues either informational or expressive privacy, can become important when relating to how tools such as Facebook store information that can be reproduced easily. If informational privacy is compromised with social networking tools so too does expressive privacy (Raynes-Goldie, 2010). These can affect what is left on Facebook walls, comments, boards on blogs and other social networking tools. The issue of how to define privacy in an online world is complex when so many people define it in different ways.
Social networking tools allow the library to engage with its users but being so libraries need to be careful in monitoring feedback and be able to identify and manage negative comments in an appropriate manner. The anonymity of the web can sometimes lead to users commenting in negative ways that would not normally happen if they were identifiable (Pearson, 2009, para. 30). Steps are able to be taken in a way to monitoring what is being said about the library online in the way of tracking tools (Davis, 2009). Tools such as Serph, Monitter and Google Alerts allow the library to find what is said about them online and through social media. These types of tools can be adapted to allow the library to help users that are searching for specific information or what their needs may be by using keywords through social media for example.
The challenge of finding authentic information in a socially networked world
In this OLJ activity I looked at the issue of finding information in the age of web 2.0. Determining authentic information from information less relevant can be difficult because of easy access to large amounts of information online and through social media. Information professionals need to be aware of how users are searching for and finding information.
The sharing of information is being transformed with emergence of web 2.0 tools allowing users to interact with information and create their own content. How information is established as credible is continually being changed through more collaborative approaches than traditional means (Leibiger, 2011, p. 189, para. 6). This large amount of information freely available online can benefit or detract from how users find and evaluate its relevance and quality (Wittenberg, 2007, para. 5). While Google and Wikipedia meet most users’ personal information needs (Leibiger,2011, p. 189, para. 2), the challenge for information professionals is to adapt to changes in how information is shared and acquired, particularly with a large number of people using social media in to meet their needs.
If information professionals are able to interact with users they are in a position to educate users on how to find and evaluate credible and reliable information for their needs.
There are many social networking tools available that have the benefits of user engagement and awareness, information professionals need to aware of issues such as planning, policies, privacy and reliability to ensure library services are delivered in the best way possible.
My interest and knowledge of social networking and web 2.0 tools have developed from when I began INF206 Social networking for information professionals. My original thoughts on social networking as building communities have been enforced with a deeper understanding of collaboration and participation. This unit has also made me aware of what is needed to make a successful transition to becoming a better informational professional using social networking as a professional tool.
Before undertaking this unit my main uses of social networking were Twitter and Instagram. I now have a deeper understanding of how social networking tools can be adapted for use as an information professional. Not only can libraries benefit from promoting services and resources through Twitter and Facebook but can use these tools for educational purposes along with other tools such as Blogs, Wikis, tagging and picture and video hosting sites.
When I joined the Social Media team at my current workplace it was originally in order to encourage engagement with users and to promote library services and resources. I have now gained a deeper understanding and knowledge in the area and have learnt of the need for developing a strategy and plan for all social media use in the library and putting policy into place that not only compliments the library’s current policies but is also adaptable enough to trial new technologies as they become available. The social media direction will be further enhanced by analysing how the library is used by its patrons and what social networking tools they are using (Gerts, 2013). This will help ensure the correct areas are targeted for greater user engagement.
Some useful social networking tools I have found an extra interest in and am exploring further are tagging and picture hosting sites. Both tools are used in a similar way that allows for the sharing of content in ways that can create community and is able to be used for promotion, education and as work tools that can allow content to be created by library users and staff (Gerts, 2013). I have gained a particular interest in Flickr, Pinterest, Delicious and Diigo and am exploring each one to see which tools suit me needs best.
By working through the modules and readings and also undertaking journal entries and activities, have reflected on what was presented and also tried new technologies I would not normally use. The variety of services social networking tools are used for can include sharing, networking, publishing, discussing, gaming, location and commerce (Cavassa, 2010, para. 8). All these tools when used correctly can enhance the experience of the library for researching, learning and fun.
While the wealth of information available online and through social media is enormous, libraries need to ensure that users have the ability to evaluate the credibility of information that is found. Libraries can also benefit from interacting with users by receiving instant feedback and being able to direct services and resources to fill users’ needs. Libraries are in a position to embrace social networking tools to offer services to users whenever or wherever they may be without being restricted into the physical library (Miller, 2005, para. 26). It is important to be able to adapt to users’ needs by listening, creating discussions with them and by being aware of, experimenting with and trialling emerging technologies and trends. The use of Web 2.0 technologies does not need to be constricted by in-house systems and can be achieved by trialling other technologies that exist outside the library environment. (Farkers, 2008, para. 8).
By using social networking tools myself I will be better informed and better equipped as an information professional to understand users’ needs. Learning through engagement will only aid my professional development (Gerts, 2013). Networking plays an important part for my education and career development and my learning experience will be enhanced if I use carefully selected social networking tools to keep track of other peers and industry-related contacts through a culture of collaboration and community.
Overall I now look at social networking as a personal and professional tool that can help me connect and collaborate with people and that can be used as a tool for the library to use to connect with users. I now am able to understand the issues around privacy, access, copyright, information literacy and that developing strong strategies and policies is beneficial.
Burkhardt, A. (2009). Four reasons libraries should be on social media. Information Tyrannosaur. Retrieved from http://andyburkhardt.com/2009/08/25/four-reasons-libraries-should-be-on-social-media/
Cavassa, F. (2010). The social media landscape 2011. Retrieved from http://www.fredcavazza.net/2010/12/14/social-media-landscape-2011/
Choi, C. (2012). Is your library ready for a social media librarian. Retrieved from http://conferences.alia.org.au/alia2012/Papers/18_Crystall.Choi.pdf
Davis, L. (2009). 8 tools to track your footprints on the web. Readwrite. Retrieved from: http://readwrite.com/2009/02/01/8_tools_to_track_your_footprin
Farkers, M. (2008). The essence of Library 2.0? Retrieved from http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2008/01/24/the-essence-of-library-20/
Gerts, C. (2013). Library 2.0 and participatory library services [INF206 Librarian 2.0]. Retrieved February 2, 2014 from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF206_201390_W_D/page/698e32a4-30d3-4788-0009-8150b56c24f9
Gerts, C. (2013). Making Web 2.0 work for your organisation [INF206 Module Developing a social networking marketing strategy]. Retrieved February 6, 2014 from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF206_201390_W_D/page/698e32a4-30d3-4788-0009-8150b56c24f9
Gerts, C. (2013). Web 2.0 technologies and social software [INF206 Module Photo and video hosting]. Retrieved February 2, 2014 from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF206_201390_W_D/page/698e32a4-30d3-4788-0009-8150b56c24f9
Gerts, C. (2013). Web 2.0 technologies and social software [INF206 Module Tagging and QR codes]. Retrieved February 2, 2014 from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF206_201390_W_D/page/698e32a4-30d3-4788-0009-8150b56c24f9
Leibiger, C. A. (2011). Google reigns triumphant?: stemming the tide of Googlitis via collaborative, situated information literacy instruction. Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian, 30(4), 187-222. doi: 10.1080/01639269.2011.628886
Miller, P. (2005). Web 2.0: Building the new library, Ariadne, 45. Retrieved from http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue45/miller
Pearson, J. (2009). Life as a dog :Personal identity and the internet. Meanjin, 68(2), 67-77. Retrieved from http://meanjin.com.au/editions/volume-68-number-2-2009/article/life-as-a-dog/
Raynes-Goldie, K. (2010). Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: Understanding privacy in the age of Facebook, First Monday, 15(1), Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2775/2432
Schrier, R. A. (2011). Digital librarianship & social media: the digital library as conversation facilitator, D-Lib Magazine, 17(7/8). Retrieved from http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july11/schrier/07schrier.html
Wittenberg, K. (2007). Credibility of content and the future of research, learning, and publishing in the digital environment. The Journal of Electronic Publishing, 10(1). Retrieved from http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jep;cc=jep;rgn=main;view=text;idno=3336451.0010.101